17 Mar 2022

BMS eps 232 and 233

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Episode 232 and 233 continue my series on Klaus Schwab and the Great Reset.

18 Responses to “BMS eps 232 and 233”

  1. Tel says:

    I got interested in Dan Bongino because there was so much pressure to cancel him … meaning he must have been hitting a few critical nerves. He covers the same material, not as eloquent as Murphy obviously, but if you happen to be stuck on a long drive, might be worth a listen.


  2. random person says:

    While I was listening to “Ep. 232 Behind Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum, and the Great Reset: Part 3”, I think you explained to me why so many people just assume I’m an anarchist.

    I’ve thought that was weird for years, because it’s not as if I have any plan or even thoughts of overthrowing any government. I acknowledge that the governments exist and probably aren’t going away any time soon. And nor do I walk around trying to shame people for using government services.

    But deep in my heart of hearts, I don’t really think people should be forced to build roads if people don’t want to build roads. Speaking of which, forced building of roads was apparently a huge problem in the Belgian Congo, and also in 18th century France.

    Apparently, France’s system of forcing people to build roads (under a system known as corvée labor) was considered a major motivation for the French revolution. So, I realize that the French revolution was bloody and not what many of us want a revolution to be, but it’s not as if France was a utopia and then the revolution suddenly ruined it. France had a massive forced labor regime, and people rebelled against it.

    It’s worth noting that during the “Great Fear” (early part of the French Revolution), one of the activities of the revolting peasants was to destroy records showing who “owed” (from the perspective of the government and nobles) corvée labor.


    Written records bearing names, land holdings, feudal contracts and obligations – for example, ledgers showing which peasants were subject to the champart, whose quitrents were due, who owed labour for the corvée – were eagerly sought and immediately destroyed.

    The article is actually kinda biased. For example, right before the part I just quoted, it says, “It was the landed aristocracy and seigneurs who suffered worse. Their châteaux (country homes) were besieged, invaded, looted and, in most cases, set alight.”

    Alright, so, as we can see from their corvée records, the landed aristocracy were essentially either sl*ve owners or at least overseers, in so far as corvée can be considered at least a type of sl*very. To distinguish it from more severe forms of sl*very, we might seek to specify how many days, weeks, or months per year the peasants were forced to work, but I’m not actually sure, and what I have read leads me to suspect that there was actually a lot of variability in the answer. I guess you could also try “quasi-sl*very” or “partial sl*avery”. So, anyway, what basically happened was a sl*ve revolt.

    Now, it is true that sl*ve revolts (regardless of the severity of the particular form of sl*very) is can be terribly bloody things, and that some of the people killed during sl*ve revolts are actually quite innocent. (E.g., babies were killed in the aftermath of the Haitian revolution. Babies are innocent by virtue of their ages and powerlessness.) But, still, saying that sl*ve owners or overseers are the people who suffer worst during a sl*ve revolt just seems incredibly biased and rather creepy to me. Bias aside thought, it is an interesting article, particularly the details about the peasants destroying the corvée records.

    Anyway, to get back to my earlier point, if people think I’m an anarchist, or anarcho-socialist, or something like that, because I’d rather live in a roadless world than a world were people are forced to build roads, then I don’t know, maybe they’re right. It’s just kind of surprising to me that that’s enough to qualify me as an anarchist (at least in many people’s opinions).

    But in any case, I’ve been wondering for years why so many people think I’m an anarchist, and I think you did help me to understand better.

    • random person says:

      This book confirms that there was wide variability in the French corvées.


      So, apparently, there were multiple corvée, royal and seigniorial. (Basically, national versus local.)

      The royal corvée varied widely from one place to another – it might be 6 days, or 50 days, twice per year. (So anywhere from 12 to 100 days per year. Maybe higher in some places; the book didn’t specify if 50 days twice per year was actually the upper limit or not.) Furthermore, the people forced to build and maintain roads under the royal corvée did not actually benefit from said roads; these were intercity roads, and the local roads often lay neglected.

      The requirements of the seigniorial corvée varied over time. During some time periods, the seignior could demand whatever corvée he pleased, whenever he pleased, from serfs. (Essentially, a high level of sl*very, though still probably not as bad as plantation sl*very in the pre-Civil War United States.)

      In the 1500s, someone wrote that seigniorial corvées “at will” were limited to 12 days per year, from sunrise to sunset, though it’s unclear if this limitation extended over all of France, or just the local area in question. It also appears that in the same time and place, there was a minimum wage on corvée labor, in the sense that the seignior or seigniors were required to actually provide food. (Note: we can also see attempts at passing minimum wages in the history of forced labor in Brazil and the Congo. So far as I can tell, the historical origins of minimum wage law are in attempting to mitigate the harmful effects of forced labor, without much success.) It’s also unclear what “at will” means. Were there certain corvée labor days that were not “at will” and others that were “at will”?

      Also, apparently the concept of corvée was inherited from the Romans.

      Essentially, it appears that France had various forms of forced labor, varying in severity and amount of time per year, going all the way from the Roman time period to the French revolution, with some attempts to re-impose forced labor even after the French revolution.

      • random person says:

        In case the link breaks, the book is:
        A History of French Public Law
        By Jean Brissaud and Harold Dexter Hazeltine
        published in 1915

      • random person says:

        It’s worth noting that legal limits on corvées (or other types of forced labor) should be looked at with the utmost skepticism. In Marx’s Das Kapital, Chapter 10, Section 2, Marx describes how some “limitations” on corvée labor are so craftily worded, that a “day” might begin in May and end in October. (In other words, what the term “day” means in legalese might not even come close to conforming to what the term “day” means in normal language.)

        According to the “Règlement organique,” as this code of the corvée is called, every Wallachian peasant owes to the so-called landlord, besides a mass of detailed payments in kind: (1), 12 days of general labour; (2), one day of field labour; (3), one day of wood carrying. In all, 14 days in the year. With deep insight into Political Economy, however, the working-day is not taken in its ordinary sense, but as the working-day necessary to the production of an average daily product; and that average daily product is determined in so crafty a way that no Cyclops would be done with it in 24 hours. In dry words, the Réglement itself declares with true Russian irony that by 12 working-days one must understand the product of the manual labour of 36 days, by 1 day of field labour 3 days, and by 1 day of wood carrying in like manner three times as much. In all, 42 corvée days. To this had to be added the so-called jobagie, service due to the lord for extraordinary occasions. In proportion to the size of its population, every village has to furnish annually a definite contingent to the jobagie. This additional corvée is estimated at 14 days for each Wallachian peasant. Thus the prescribed corvée amounts to 56 working-days yearly. But the agricultural year in Wallachia numbers in consequence of the severe climate only 210 days, of which 40 for Sundays and holidays, 30 on an average for bad weather, together 70 days, do not count. 140 working-days remain. The ratio of the corvée to the necessary labour 56/84 or 66 2/3 % gives a much smaller rate of surplus-value than that which regulates the labour of the English agricultural or factory labourer. This is, however, only the legally prescribed corvée. And in a spirit yet more “liberal” than the English Factory Acts, the “Règlement organique” has known how to facilitate its own evasion. After it has made 56 days out of 12, the nominal day’s work of each of the 56 corvée days is again so arranged that a portion of it must fall on the ensuing day. In one day, e.g., must be weeded an extent of land, which, for this work, especially in maize plantations, needs twice as much time. The legal day’s work for some kinds of agricultural labour is interpretable in such a way that the day begins in May and ends in October. In Moldavia conditions are still harder.

        “The 12 corvée days of the ‘Règlement organique’ cried a Boyard drunk with victory, amount to 365 days in the year.” [12]

        — Karl Marx

      • Tel says:

        It’s difficult to find any society on Earth that has existed without taxation … and all tax eventually boils down to some people get forced to do labor for other people. It’s a protection racket and it always has been.

        You can dress it up in various ways and make the payment in coins, or in notes, or in hours but the difference is small.

        The only difference would be the degree, and the details of the method. If it’s really 12 days per year, that’s a lot less tax than I have paid most of my life. Based on that estimate they were doing OK … I calculated that all things considered I probably pay about 50% of my productive output as tax, which is essentially at the sharecropper level.

        The payment channels might vary from place to place … because under feudalism the monarch will tax each major landowner directly … who then goes and collects from each level down in a hierarchical structure until you get to the peasants. Under the modern system, the government taxes each citizen without going through an intermediary, although sales tax still has one layer of middle man (the vendor) and frequently an employer is required to collect income tax on behalf of the employee, therefore corporations have been roped in as tax collectors.

        Sure you might get someone who tries to change the deal, which happens all the time, that’s more a question of whether contract law is enforced, or arbitrary. One would hope that at least consistency is better in the modern world, although after 2020 that’s in doubt as well.

        • random person says:

          Tel wrote,

          I calculated that all things considered I probably pay about 50% of my productive output as tax, which is essentially at the sharecropper level

          That is very exploitative. And I realize that there are a lot of people who are likely being exploited at similar rates, but essentially, capitalism, as defined by Marx, is a very exploitative system, and you, unfortunately, are caught up in it.

          Tel wrote,

          If it’s really 12 days per year, that’s a lot less tax than I have paid most of my life.

          12 days, for one specific tax (the royal corvée), in some parts of France, but more days in others. Regardless, there were still other taxes to pay in addition to that – seigniorial corvée, tailles, certain so-called “gifts” paid under threat of more taxes, income tax (starting in 1710), capitation tax (from 1695 to 1697, then re-established in 1704), aids/auxillia taxes (similar to sales taxes), the gabelle (salt tax), traites taxes (basically customs duties), stamp tax (starting 1673), various registration fees, a centieme denier tax on transfers, and so on and so forth. So, as far as I know, at no time were French peasants ever allowed to simply spend 12 days in forced labor, and keep the income of the other 353 days of the year entirely to themselves.

          If you look at this book:
          A History of French Public Law
          By Jean Brissaud and Harold Dexter Hazeltine
          published in 1915
          google [dot] ca/books/edition/A_History_of_French_Public_Law/tQAwAQAAIAAJ

          It goes on at some length about the various types of taxation in France. I’m guessing it’s in public domain, since Google will let you download the whole book as a pdf.

          Additionally, per Marx’s note that sometimes, in the calculation of corvée labor, a legal day might be vastly different from normal usage of the word “day”, e.g. a legal “day” beginning in May and ending in October, we should be skeptical that seemingly mild forms of corvée were actually as mild as they looked on paper. Legal trickery like that is why first hand accounts are often more reliable than just reading through the laws (or someone else’s summary of the laws) — it’s not always obvious from reading the laws when they’ve decided to make a word mean something completely different in legalese than it does in regular English (or French, or whatever language), plus sometimes officials and police enforce laws that perhaps weren’t written down, or differently from how they were written down.

          That said, first hand accounts are not always available (or might not have been translated to a language we know), and even if they don’t admit everything they do in the actual laws, or use confusing language to obscure it, what they do write down can still be pretty d**ning.

          Tel wrote,

          It’s difficult to find any society on Earth that has existed without taxation

          There were many American Indian and African societies who, so far as I can tell, appeared unfamiliar with the concept of taxation before being introduced to it by colonizers.

          That’s not to say that they did not, perhaps, experience some of the precursors of taxation, such as raiding, but at least many Congolese seemed sufficiently unfamiliar with a powerful taxation regime that they initially tried to repel them with arrows (and apparently continued to try this sporadically for some time, e.g. during the revolt of the Pende).

          As for various native Americans, this quote that’s at least allegedly from Chief Two Eagles is worth a read.

          When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water. Women did all the work. Medicine man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having s**. Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.

          globalcitizenblog [dot] com/where-white-man-went-wrong/

          Tel wrote,

          The only difference would be the degree, and the details of the method.

          There are a ton of variables there. Sometimes taxes are enforced by means of torture and/or the death penalty, sometimes lesser forms of abuse that might not rise to the level of “torture”, sometimes by means of a lien on your house. Machiavelli even speaks of an ancient Roman tax that was enforced solely by means of requiring taxpayers to swear an oath that they had paid their “fair” share. Some taxes are easier to avoid than others; for example, one might avoid a monetary income tax by not earning any money; however, when a new regime comes to power, they’ll often impose something harder to avoid, like some sort of head tax (fixed tax still due even by people with no monetary income, paired with the requirement that they go get an income to pay said tax) or a tax of land/property (such that avoiding the tax would result in houselessness, which might be illegal if there are vagrancy laws or stuff like that). The harder to avoid taxes will often be kept in place in some form, even in a more established regime, to prevent people from completely escaping the system.

          On the other hand, the ruling classes will often be given legal methods of tax avoidance or outright exemptions. The French nobility weren’t the ones who had to do corvée labor, for example, although apparently many of them could collect corvée labor. In the USA, there are corporations that receive more in subsidies than they pay in taxes, at least in some years. (I’m not certain how it works out over the entire lifespan of said corporations.) And in many cases, the ruling class may be intermediary taxpayers, not true taxpayers, anyway: e.g. a sl*veholder in the pre-Civil War United States would not have truly been paying taxes himself; he would have extracted the labor out of the sl*ves, and then passed on a portion of the profits in the form of taxes.

          “GE, Exxon, 10 Other Major Corporations Paid Negative Tax Rate”

          Plus oil and gas companies in the United States are also allowed to get away with stealing land from farmers and other people, poisoning people’s wells, and so on. Ruling class, basically.

          Because of all the variables, some ways to get an idea of how brutal a particular taxation regime is:
          * How deadly is the taxation regime in question? (In the case of King Leopold II’s rubber tax, and the taxes imposed by the East India Company and the UK on Bengal and India, the answer is “extremely deadly”.)
          * How much torture is inflicted by the taxation regime? (If a tax in enforced by the chicotte, a type of whip used in the Belgian Congo, that’s a lot of torture.)
          * What is the rate of exploitation of the taxation regime? (E.g., in your case, you estimate that tax collectors are exploiting 50% of your income.)
          * Are there compassionate exemptions to for people who, due to illness or other reason, can’t pay or can’t pay as much? (Looking at the deadliness of the taxation regime might give clues here.)
          * What options does the taxpayer have to earn the income to be exploited in a profession of their choosing, versus being forced into a specific profession (e.g. collecting rubber)?
          * Did the taxpayer in question legitimately earn the income, or did they exploit it from someone else? (Asking this question helps remove sl*veholders and other major thieves from the list of people being exploited by the taxation regime, or at least complicates the matter. In some cases, it may be an issue of forced immorality, e.g. in the case of an ensl*ved soldier who is forced to ensl*ve other people in turn. In the Belgian Congo, there were times husbands forced their wives to do the labor to pay their taxes for them, but still a sense that they would have preferred not deal with the tax regime at all.)

          • Tel says:

            And I realize that there are a lot of people who are likely being exploited at similar rates, but essentially, capitalism, as defined by Marx, is a very exploitative system, and you, unfortunately, are caught up in it.

            Fairly sure that the tax ends up going back to government, and not to the capitalists … ultimately it goes to politically connected friends of government and key voter demographics they need to buy off.

            Yes, there are a number of corporations in Australia depending to a greater or lesser extent on government contracts, and that’s not great … but the real issue is that we have so many people programmed to believe that government will guarantee to provide everything they ever need … and those people vote, and they often get what they demand. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

            • random person says:

              Governments can be capitalists. Consider King Leopold II and his organization, the Congo Free State. They were still capitalists of the worst type — that is, perpetrators of a brutal forced labor regime with much torture and murder — regardless of the fact that they were state entities. Just because a sl*veholder holds a government post (such as a kingship), or a group of sl*veholders form a state (such as the Congo Free State) doesn’t mean they aren’t still sl*veholding capitalists.

              Of course, “capitalist” is a much broader term than just people who hold other humans beings as capital. But the government of Australia claims to hold the land as capital, right? You have property taxes in Australia, yes? Essentially, the government wants you to pay rent to them. They are a landlord you have to pay rent to under threat of being evicted from your home. (Assuming tax foreclosure eventually ends in eviction in Australia, as it does in the United States.) But the government of Australia probably aren’t the ones building most of the houses. So, the homes they are landlords over are not ones they have valid moral titles over. So they are like any other landlord renting out housing that they don’t have valid moral title to: capitalist thieves.

              But suppose the government actually did build some of the housing (or rather, pay for it to be built). There’s still the problem of prohibiting competition. (I’m guessing Australia probably has laws that make it very difficult for you to just build your own house the way you want to. Probably a lot of zoning regulations, building codes, plus a requirement to buy the land first, even if the land is undeveloped and not currently in use. In any case, the United States has such laws.) Even if the government actually did pay for some of the housing, prohibiting competition weakens their moral claim to said housing they actually paid for, since by prohibiting competition, they kinda owe you reparations. It’s like, if someone told you you weren’t allowed to grow any food, or you had to follow a mountain of unreasonable regulations to be allowed to grow food, you’d probably want to tell that person to stuff it, but if you couldn’t tell them to stuff it because they were too powerful, you’d probably want to at least say, “Well, fine, but now it’s your job to grow food for me to compensate me for this loss of livelihood.” Of course, they might be too powerful for you to actually say that to their face, but that’s what makes the system exploitative. (But, consider injury claims in courts, where people sometimes sue for loss of livelihood. What moral reason is there for some people to be liable to pay others for “loss of livelihood”, and others to be immune from such lawsuits just because of their status in society?)

              Then again, the part of the government prohibiting competition might not be the same part of the government building the housing, so maybe they should be counted as separate entities, but that’s still an exploitative situation. The capitalists building the housing – whether part of the government or not – are exploiting the lack of legal competition in order to charge higher prices to people who want to live in housing, and also to simply have more customers than they otherwise would. But not paying construction workers would be even more exploitative, so as long as reasonable competition is prohibited, exploitation is inevitable. (Though it is possible there could be some ways to mitigate the exploitation, e.g. providing public housing is better than arresting and locking up houseless people in prison or other inhumane facilities. But mitigation strategies should not be confused with fixing the core underlying problems.)

              There’s actually a passage here from Das Kapital, Volume 3, Chapter 45, where Marx explains how ground rent (which, historically, are almost always illegitimate, in so far as the landlords almost never have a valid moral claim to the land in question — an exception would be if they actually did something to improve the land, like add biochar or plant an orchard) is exploitative in a similar way to many taxes.

              The following question now arises: Does it follow from the fact that the worst soil yields ground-rent which cannot be derived from any difference in fertility that the price of the product of the land is necessarily a monopoly price in the usual sense, or a price into which the rent enters like a tax, with the sole distinction that the landlord levies the tax instead of the state? It goes without saying that this tax has its specific economic limits. It is limited by additional investments of capital in the old leaseholds, by competition from products of the land coming from abroad — assuming their import is unrestricted — by competition among the landlords themselves, and finally by the needs of the consumers and their ability to pay. But this is not the question here. The point is whether the rent paid on the worst soil enters into the price of the products of this soil — which price regulates the general market-price according to our assumption — in the same way as a tax placed on a commodity enters into its price, i.e., as an element that is independent of the value of the commodity.

              So there, you can see how Marx assumes the reader already understands the exploitative nature of taxes such commodity taxes, and is explaining how ground rent basically functions as a tax, and is exploitative in the same way, except the tax collector in this case is not a state actor. (I would add “illegitimate” before “ground rent”, but since ground rent is almost never paid to people with an actual valid moral claim to the land, it’s probably redundant.)

              The possibility of state-as-landlord is mentioned in Das Kapital, Volume 3, Chapter 47,

              Should the direct producers not be confronted by a private landowner, but rather, as in Asia, under direct subordination to a state which stands over them as their landlord and simultaneously as sovereign, then rent and taxes coincide, or rather, there exists no tax which differs from this form of ground-rent. Under such circumstances, there need exist no stronger political or economic pressure than that common to all subjection to that state. The state is then the supreme lord. Sovereignty here consists in the ownership of land concentrated on a national scale. But, on the other hand, no private ownership of land exists, although there is both private and common possession and use of land.

              So, pretty much every country that has property taxes now functions under a state-as-landlord system.

              You might also be interested in this passage in Das Kapital, Volume 3, Chapter 43, where Marx mentions “ruthless and despotic” states extracting taxes “frequently by means of torture”,

              And, on the other hand, there were the land holdings of Russian and Indian communist communities which had to sell a portion of their produce, and a constantly increasing one at that, for the purpose of obtaining money for taxes wrung from them — frequently by means of torture — by a ruthless and despotic state. These products were sold without regard to price of production, they were sold at the price which the dealer offered, because the peasant perforce needed money without fail when taxes became due.

              This is either a quote or a summary of something by Mirabeau, but in any case, it is included by Marx in Das Kapital, Volume One, Chapter 27

              [Flax represents one of the greatest sources of wealth for the peasant of North Germany. Unfortunately for the human race, this is only a resource against misery and not a means towards well-being. Direct taxes, forced labour service, obligations of all kinds crush the German peasant, especially as he still has to pay indirect taxes on everything he buys, … and to complete his ruin he dare not sell his produce where and as he wishes; he dare not buy what he needs from the merhcants who could sell it to him at a cheaper price. He is slowly ruined by all those factors, and when the dirct taxes fall due, he would find himself incapable of paying them without his spinning-wheel; it offers him a last resort, while providing useful occupation for his wife, his children, his maids, his farm-hands, and himself; but what a painful life he leads, even with this extra resource! In summer, he works like a convict with the plough and at harvest; he goes to bed at nine o’clock and rises at two to get through all his work; in winter he ought to be recovering his strength by sleeping longer; but he would run short of corn for his bread and next year’s sowing if he got rid of the products that he needs to sell in order to pay the taxes. He therefore has to spin to fill up this gap … and indeed he must do so most assiduously. Thus the peasant goes to bed at midnight or one o’clock in winter, and gets up at five or six; or he goes to bed at nine and gets up at two, and this he does every day of his life except Sundays. These excessively short hours of sleep and long hours of work consume a person’s strength and hence it happens that men and women age much more in the country than in the towns] (Mirabeau, l. c., t.III. pp. 212 sqq.)

              So, as you can see, Marx’s critique of capitalism included a critique of painfully crushing taxes. States which level taxes on the peasantry (which is basically all states, unless you use a very broad definiton of the term “state”) are essentially a category of capitalists.

            • random person says:

              Tel wrote,
              but the real issue is that we have so many people programmed to believe that government will guarantee to provide everything they ever need … and those people vote, and they often get what they demand. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

              Research indicates that self-reported trust in government may be misleading in the context of a repressive regime, particularly among people who have experienced or witnessed acts of repression.

              Apparently, people will falsify their preferences, out of fear of repression, in order to enhance their personal safety.

              Multiple mechanisms could explain why state-led repression causes an increase in self-reported support for the ruling government party. In an insecure and unstable political environment, citizens may perceive the state’s use of force as enhancing local security – a mechanism of perceived state-provided political order. Alternatively, in the face of a government that regularly perpetrates violence and repression for electoral ends, citizens may falsify their political preferences, with the aim of enhancing their personal security. In order to better adjudicate between these two mechanisms we analyze two additional survey questions. The first questions asks respondents about their fear of violence during electoral periods:

              • “During election campaigns in this country, how much do you personally fear becoming a victim of political intimidation or violence?”

              Again utilizing our main specification from Equation (1), in Table 4, Panel A we show that indirect exposure to repression leads respondents to report substantially higher fear of violence during election campaigns. First differences in the predicted probabilities of observing each of the four outcomes of Fear of Violence as a result of a change in the treatment status are shown in Figure 7 (top panel). The plot shows that treated respondents are 47 percentage points more likely to say that they fear “a lot” becoming a victim of political intimidation or violence. This positive association between fear of violence and indirect exposure to state repression is inconsistent with a mechanism that citizens report higher trust in the state due to their perception that the state uses force to successfully provide political order. However, this positive association is consistent with a mechanism of preference falsification, where citizens hide their true political preferences due to fear of the Mugabe regime and its use of political repression.


              Think of it like when a woman has an abusive husband or boyfriend, whom she no longer loves, but pretends to love in order to placate him and to reduce the frequency / tendency of violent outbursts on his part. Except on a larger scale.

              And then consider how repressive the Australian government has been lately. How honest do you really think people are being about their beliefs?

            • random person says:

              Continuing the topic of political repression leading to falsification of political preferences, it might be worthwhile to read this analysis of how childhood abuse leads to children developing a tendency to do what the author calls “survival lying”,

              Lying, prevaricating, dissimulating, deceiving, dissembling, follow abuse in a number of different ways.

              Victims learn to lie the very first time they are abused because together with the abuse comes an admonition not to tell anyone — which is usually accompanied by a threat to further harm (even kill) the victim or a victim’s loved ones if the secret is not kept. So victims learn to make up stories to explain away any signs of abuse. All sorts of explanations are proffered for damaged or missing clothing or for cuts and bruises. Some victims put on a distracting persona so that no one could possibly guess the pain and suffering being experienced. One survivor says she used to return from every occasion when she was viciously sexually abused as “Little Miss Sunshine” so her mother would think she had been having such a nice time with her uncle, because he threatened to kill her father if she told anyone what he did to her.

              Sometimes the abuse comes as “punishment” because the abuser claims to have been angered in some way. In these cases victims learn to tell the abuser whatever it is she or he thinks the abuser wants to hear. Thus many victims become extremely placatory – making up stories in the hope of keeping the abuser happy and liking them. This is futile, for an abuser intent on abuse will always find another excuse to “punish” – but victims keep on trying anyway and the lies become more and more elaborate.

              In addition, more often than not childhood abuse is accompanied by feelings of worthlessness. Many survivors tell of how they felt they did not exist when they were being abused. Or they felt that they were being abused because they were bad or at the very least, not good enough. Being told, explicitly or by implication, that they are worthless, or bad, or not good for anything, makes victims feel as though they have to be someone other than themselves to get the positive attention every human being craves. So, many victims begin to make up elaborate stories about themselves, their adventures, their accomplishments, their friends. Some fabricate or extend illness or other maladies to engender sympathy and a loving touch.

              Here, then, is something that can be said unequivocally – in survivors of abuse, lying can and should be seen as a survival mechanism. Sometimes it is a mechanism for protection, sometimes it is a mechanism to placate and sometimes it is a mechanism to shore up severely damaged self esteem. Sometimes it is all three. It is always a survival mechanism.

              Curiously, though, the fact that a survivor of abuse might be shown to be a liar about a simple or even ridiculous matter is not proof that they are lying about the abuse they suffered – just the opposite in fact. Nefarious lying, that is lying to gain some significant advantage by deceit, is always careful and controlled. Survival lying, on the other hand is easily exposed and usually harmless, in that it is not used to disadvantage someone else, but simply to protect a fragile soul. A history of such lying should be seen as a symptom of underlying or deep seated social trauma. It is a survival mechanism – perhaps decreasingly necessary as the survivor matures, but a survival mechanism nevertheless.


              It’s probably worth noting that political repression often begins in childhood

              Also see,
              “Why Anti-Authoritarians Are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill”
              By Bruce Levine
              madinamerica [dot] com/2012/02/why-anti-authoritarians-are-diagnosed-as-mentally-ill/

              “The Diseasing of Defiance”
              madinamerica [dot] com/2017/05/the-diseasing-of-defiance/
              By Eric Maisel

              “Rejecting the ODD Label”
              madinamerica [dot] com/2017/05/rejecting-odd-label/

              “Why Is Child Sexual Abuse So Common in Institutions?”
              By Rachel Litchman
              madinamerica [dot] com/2022/01/child-sexual-abuse-common-institutions/

              • random person says:

                This is somewhat relevant to the whole child abuse leading to lying thing, and it’s been weighing on me lately.

                Compare these two articles, about the same case.

                cbc [dot] ca/news/canada/ottawa/video-of-restrained-boy-silences-ottawa-mountie-s-child-abuse-trial-1.3229591

                hottawacitizen [dot] com/news/local-news/defence-lawyer-calls-alleged-child-abuse-victim-a-liar

                So, the first article tells us that they have video evidence of horrific child torture. Like, multiple videos.

                The second article doesn’t mention the video evidence of the torture at all, and mainly focuses on the lawyer’s attempts to discredit the torture victim. If you read only the second article, you might think that the only evidence of the torture was the child’s word, and that the child was not a particularly reliable witness, and was actually guilty of abusing his foster mother and other bad stuff.

                A quote from the second article,

                “You couldn’t be disciplined because you make up your own rules,” Carew told the boy. “You’re pretty defiant, wouldn’t you say?”

                You know, I think being defiant against depraved child torturing lunatics is actually a good thing.

          • Tel says:

            There were many American Indian and African societies who, so far as I can tell, appeared unfamiliar with the concept of taxation before being introduced to it by colonizers.

            If the women are doing all (or most) of the work, that implies they are getting taxed, in as much as their labour is taken by force and redistributed amongst the tribe. The men are then responsible for defending that patch of land from other tribes (i.e. going to war, such as it is amongst tribal groups, call it a skirmish if you like).

            This is essentially a protection racket, in the small scale … instead of a nation state which is a protection racket in the large scale. Since the larger, more organized group will typically win most battles, inevitably taxation and the protection racket that goes with it must gravitate towards nation states and not tribes. That’s why the little tribal groups have been mopped up and pushed under the umbrella of some government or other.

            I’m OK with a government that provides an upfront deal as a protection racket, given as how it’s inevitable and as the old man says, “Ya need protection!”

            Trouble is how to keep that within a limited size, when whoever gets attracted to power over others will always come up with justification to expand the scope of the operation. The taxation grows and grows, and each group finds it easier to go for the government wealth transfer than to produce anything of value. There’s a tipping point where no one cares anymore, they know whatever they have will be taken from them. At this stage the productive people are no longer getting protection and have no more reason to buy into the scheme.

            It’s not like the women of the tribe have a choice to just wander over to the next-door tribe if they get a better deal over there. Although citizens of a modern nation state can leave, the governments ensure it is difficult to do that, and even more difficult to take anything of value with you. They are ensuring you can’t just shop around for the best protection at the lowest price.

            • random person says:

              Tel wrote,

              If the women are doing all (or most) of the work, that implies they are getting taxed, in as much as their labour is taken by force and redistributed amongst the tribe.

              It’s indeterminate. It may indicate that. Or it may also be an indicator of a matriarchal society. Women doing a lot of the work has been observed in both patriarchal and matriarchal systems.

              See for example,

              SPIEGEL ONLINE: What is life like for a man in a matriarchy?

              Coler: Men live better where women are in charge: you are responsible for almost nothing, you work much less and you spend the whole day with your friends. You’re with a different woman every night. And on top of that, you can always live at your mother’s house. The woman serves the man and it happens in a society where she leads the way and has control of the money. In a patriarchy, we men work more — and every now and then we do the dishes. In the Mosuo’s pure form of matriarchy, you aren’t allowed to do that. Where a woman’s dominant position is secure, those kinds of archaic gender roles don’t have any meaning.


              • guest says:

                “Where a woman’s dominant position is secure, those kinds of archaic gender roles don’t have any meaning.”

                You only believe that because your socialist ideology tells you that “patriarchy” (as you choose to describe it) is the source of free markets, and it’s because you hate free markets that you also hate “patriarchy”.

                It’s actually the other way around: Free markets acknowlege that human goals are the source of all economic values, and that with different goals come naturally unequal distributions of wealth and income.

                Those who can supply those goods that people are willing to trade for get richer than those that don’t, and since men are naturally better equipped to either produce or to build the capital that reduces physical labor, free markets are going to have more men running businesses.

                Call it “patriarchy” if you want, but leveraging the productive power of men is more beneficial than that of women for most production processes.

                And it’s not like a free market couldn’t technically choose to live in a matriarchal society – it would just be far less productive while men are looking around saying to themselves, “We can use less humans to do this or that task if we use men to do it.”

                And less humans per task means you can do more tasks with the amount of humans, which means you’re going to be more productive.

                Further evidence that the socialists’ anti-free-market (and anti-human) based desire for matriarchy ignores reality is that even the men who have chosen to identify as transgender are mopping the floor with women in sports.

                Submittet for posterity:

                Female UPenn Swimmers Demoralized: “No Matter How Much Work They Put In, They’re Going To Lose”
                zerohedge [dot] com/medical/female-upenn-swimmers-demoralized-no-matter-how-much-work-they-put-theyre-going-lose

                FOUR TIMES that Men and Women Faced Off in Tennis
                youtube [dot] com/watch?v=-AptRn1YFks

                Bobby Riggs Threw His Match Against Billie Jean King
                economicpolicyjournal [dot] com/2013/08/bobby-riggs-threw-his-match-against.html

                (Aside: Although it can’t be proven, in a technical sense, that Bobby Riggs threw his match to Billie Jean King, everything surrounding the match and the people involved suggests that this was the case.

                (Riggs had already SMOKED someone of comparable skill to King, which is why the Riggs-King match happened in the first place.

                (There’s more to the story that’s worth checking out.)

            • random person says:

              Tel wrote,

              At this stage the productive people are no longer getting protection and have no more reason to buy into the scheme.

              It might help if you put protection in airquotes. “protection”

              I think part of it what makes it a racket is that often times, the same people you are buying protection [services] from are the same people you need to be protected [against]. That is to say, the people you are paying to protect you from foreclosure, whipping, murder, or whatever, are the same ones threatening you with foreclosure, whipping, murder, or whatever (depending on the level of brutality of the regime). And they may or may not do much of anything to “protect” you from their competitors. For example, a woman have to buy “protection” both from the government and from her husband.

    • centetar says:

      No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You cannot be an anarchist unless you shame people for using government services!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shaming welfare queens and people who drive on roads is absolutely essential to being an anarchist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Just kidding.

      But is your entire objection to government the forced labor stuff?

      And why would you be an anarchosocialist and not an anarchocapitalist? Isn’t anarchosocialist a contradiction in terms? Since socialism is a government-controlled economy, how can you have a government-controlled economy without a government?

      • random person says:

        centetar wrote,

        And why would you be an anarchosocialist and not an anarchocapitalist? Isn’t anarchosocialist a contradiction in terms? Since socialism is a government-controlled economy, how can you have a government-controlled economy without a government?

        Okay, try putting aside what the terms “capitalism” and “socialism” mean to you for a moment, and try to guess from this quote what they meant to Marx,

        What is now, according to Wakefield, the consequence of this unfortunate state of things in the colonies? A “barbarising tendency of dispersion” of producers and national wealth.[17] The parcelling-out of the means of production among innumerable owners, working on their own account, annihilates, along with the centralization of capital, all the foundation of combined labor. Every long-winded undertaking, extending over several years and demanding outlay of fixed capital, is prevented from being carried out. In Europe, capital invests without hesitating a moment, for the working-class constitutes its living appurtennce, always in excess, always at disposal. But in the colonies! Wakefield tells and extremely doleful anecdote. He was talking with some capitalists of Canada and the state of New York, where the immigrant wave often becomes stagnant and deposits a sediment of “supernumerary” laborers. “Our capital,” says one of the characters in the melodrama, “was ready for many operations which require a considerable period of time for their completion; but we could not begin such operations with labor which, we knew, would soon leave us. If we had been sure of retraining the labor of such emigrants, we should have been glad to have engaged it at once, and for a high price: and we should have engaged it, even though we had been sure it would leave us, provided we had been sure of a fresh supply whenever we might need it.” [18]

        After Wakefield has constructed the English capitalist agriculture and its “combined” labor with the scattered cultivation of American peasants, he unwittingly gives us a glimpse at the reverse of the medal. He depicts the mass of the American people as well-to-do, independent, enterprising, and comparatively cultured, whilst “the English agricultural laborer is miserable wretch, a pauper…. In what country, except North America and some new colonies, do the wages of free labor employed in agriculture much exceed a bare subsistence for the laborer? … Undoubtedly , farm-horses in England, being a valuable property, are better fed than English peasants.” [19] But, never mind, national wealth is, once again, by its very nature, identical with misery of the people.

        How, then, to heal the anti-capitalistic cancer of the colonies? If men were willing, at a blow, to turn all the soil from public into private property, they would destroy certainly the root of the evil, but also — the colonies. The trick is how to kill two birds with one stone. Let the Government put upon the virgin soil an artificial price, independent of the law of supply and demand, a price that compels the immigrant to work a long time for wages before he can earn enough money to buy land, and turn himself into an independent peasant.[20] The fund resulting from the sale of land at a price relatively prohibitory for the wage-workers, this fund of money extorted from the wages of labor by violation of the sacred law of supply and demand, the Government is to employ, on the other hand, in proportion as it grows; to import have-nothings from Europe into the colonies, and thus keep the wage-labor market full for the capitalists. Under these circumstances, tout sera pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes possibles. This is the great secret of “systematic colonization”. By this plan, Wakefield cries in triumph, “the supply of labor must be constant and regular, because, first, as no laborer would be able to procure land until he had worked for money, all immigrant laborers, working for a time for wages and in combination, would produce capital for the employment of more laborers; secondly, because every laborer who left off working for wages and became a landowner would, by purchasing land, provide a fund for bringing fresh labor to the colony.” [21] The price of the soil imposed by the State must, of course, be a “sufficient price” — i.e., so high “as to prevent the laborers from becoming independent landowners until others had followed to take their place.” [22] This “sufficient price for the land” is nothing but a euphemistic circumlocution for the ransom which the laborer pays to the capitalist for leave to retire from the wage-labor market to the land. First, he must create for the capitalist “capital”, with which the latter may be able to exploit more laborers; then he must place, at his own expense, a locum tenens on the labor-market, whom the Government forwards across the sea for the benefit of his old master, the capitalist.

        – Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Volume 1, Chapter 33
        marxists [dot] org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch33.htm

        Okay, so, apparently “independent peasants”, aka “innumerable owners, working on their own account” are “anti-capitalistic” from Marx’s perspective, and, apparently, from Wakefield’s perspective as well. Marx speaks of a method, the Goverment putting “upon the virgin soil an artificial price, independent of the law of supply and demand”, as a method for deterring people from becoming “independent peasants” aka “innumerable owners, working on their own account” to quickly, and instead forcing them to be wage laborers for a time first. It is important to note that Marx is NOT advocating this method. His sympathies clearly lie with the anti-capitalists who wish to be “independent peasants” aka “innumerable owners, working on their own account”. However, he is apparently describing a method advocated by Wakefield, and in fact implemented by the British government, the US government, and many other governments. Although it is unclear if being “anti-capitalistic” is sufficient to qualify the workers as “socialist”, at the very least, we can at least say that Karl Marx, probably the one socialist people are most likely to have heard of, was in sympathy with said anti-capitalistic workers.

        When you shop for real estate, and you see undeveloped land with a price tag on it, that’s the “artificial price, independent of the law of supply and demand”. (Note that in might not actually be vigin land, e.g. in the United States, the land was often stolen from American Indians. But the improvements made by the American Indians, e.g. improvements to soil fertility by means of adding biochar, were often unacknowledged, and unpaid for.) In addition to the intial artificial price, in the modern United States (and many other countries), we also see property taxes on homes and farms, basically, an additional annual “artificial price, independent of the law of supply and demand”, keeping people either in the wage labor market or at least (if they have other ways of earning income) being exploited by the tax collector. Various zoning regulations and building codes further add an “artificial price, independent of the law of supply and demand” in the way of actually getting houses and other buildings and improvements constructed. (Note that some regulations, e.g. against poisoning groundwater, do serve legitimate purpose, in the same way that laws against murder and assault serve legitimate purpose, since poisoning groundwater is essentially a means of assaulting and possibly killing people who drink well water. However, these legitimate regulations are grossly outnumbered by ridiculous ones, e.g. against not having your storefront in a residential area, thereby preventing people from being able to enter the retail industry by simply opening their shop right in their former living room.)

        In essence, this “artificial price, independent of the law of supply and demand” on land and things built or to be built on land is a form of government control of the economy, for capitalist ends, and Marx is opposing this particular from of government control of the economy, on the grounds that it is exploitative.

        So, basically, Marx was concerned with worker’s rights, not with defending everything the government does to the economy. And the type of capitalism he described clearly isn’t compatible with anarchism. If you believe that “anarcho-capitalism” is not a contradiction in terms, you must be using a different definition of “capitalism” than Marx was. It’s worth noting that Das Kapital was published in 1867, before the term “capitalism” was in widespread use.

        Defining a socialism as a “government-controlled economy” is kinda like defining Christianity as a “government-controlled religion” or feminism as “government-controlled relations between the genders”. It is true that the Roman empire, from Constantine onwards, and certain other governments, have attempted to take control of Christianity and promote their own specific versions of it. However, every government that has done this has had to deal with dissident Christians–people who believe in some version of Christianity other than the one imposed by the government. Some Christians (e.g. Tolstoy) are even pacifists, or believe that Christians should stay out of politics (e.g. the Jehovah’s Witnesses). Furthermore, no one who self-identifies as Christian would be happy with, for example, a Muslim theocracy. Even the subset of Christians who want government control over religion only want that if the government enforces their specific version of Christianity, many Christians believe in separation between church and state, and some Christians are anarchist. Additionally, many people who self-identify as Christians were arguably not following the teachings of Christ, nor even making a reasonable effort to do so. In would not be difficult to argue that more authoritarian Christians (or at least, people self-identifying as Christians) such as Torquemada weren’t even “real” Christians. Although Torquemada self-identified as Christian, running around torturing people arguably violates the teachings of Christ in a sufficiently grave way, that Torquemada’s self-identification fails a basic sanity check.

        Likewise, it is true that many people who self-identify as feminists support things like laws against rape and government-sponsored domestic violence shelters. However, there are many forms of “government-controlled relations between the sexes” that feminists do not support. For example, in 1857 in the UK, it was legal for a man to beat his wife, provided the stick he used was no thicker than his thumb. In London in 1895, wife beating was allowed between the hours of 7 am and 10 pm, but prohibited from 10 pm to 7 am (only because the noise could keep neighbors awake). Marital rape was legal in the UK until 1991, and is still legal in parts of the United States. In times and places in history and recent events, there are recorded cases of government soldiers raping women. Considering the long history of governments either directly abusing women, or expressly permitting husbands, fathers, etc. to abuse women, there’s no reason a feminist can’t be an anarchist, and certainly a feminist is not someone who unconditionally supports everything the government says about relations between the genders. If someone did unconditionally support all government regulations regarding relations between the genders, including laws allowing wife beating and marital rape, we could safely say that person was not a feminist, even if that person claims to be a feminist, on the grounds that said claim fails a basic sanity check.

        1q7dqy2unor827bqjls0c4rn-wpengine [dot] netdna-ssl [dot] com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/23.-Supporting-Resources-An-Historical-Perspective.pdf

        Likewise, it is true that a socialist might support various laws to protect worker’s rights, e.g. laws against sl*very, laws against employers beating their employees, laws against employers failing to pay as promised (this is classified as a form of “wage theft”), laws against employers deliberately lying to employees about safety, and so on. However, given the long history of governments perpetrating forced labor regimes and abusing workers in other ways, there’s no reason a socialist can’t be an anarchist. Certainly, anyone who unconditionally supports all government control over the economy, including gulag camps, is not a real socialist, even if they claim to be so, on the grounds that said claim fails a basic sanity check.

        In a sense, Lenin is to socialism as Torquemada is to Christianity. Lenin self-identified as socialist, and Torquemada self-identified as Christian, but in both cases, their self-identifications failed a basic sanity check. (And then Stalin was even worse than Lenin.)

        Also see,
        “The Twelve who are to die: the trial of the socialists-revolutionists in Moscow”
        by Karl Kautsky et al.

        centetar wrote,

        But is your entire objection to government the forced labor stuff?

        No, I know governments do other bad things too. I don’t even know if I am an anarchist though. It’s not that I like the governments of the world. I know they do a lot of evil stuff. But I can’t picture any event short of Armageddon that would result in the abolition of government in the next 500 years, and Armageddon is too high a price to pay. I also don’t feel any particular animosity towards government officials who do good things, like rescuing human trafficking (aka modern sl*very) victims. I feel like people should be judged by what they do, rather than by their titles and abstract relations to “government”. (See for example, “More than 2,700 human trafficking victims rescued in INTERPOL-coordinated operation” interpol [dot] int/ar/1/1/2016/More-than-2-700-human-trafficking-victims-rescued-in-INTERPOL-coordinated-operation) Furthermore, I doubt any of the government officials who perpetrate the most evil would be willing to spend even 1 minute listening to me. And there are many ethical issues that require no action (or lack thereof) from the government. E.g. if I think more needs to be done to fight sl*very, I can donate to Free the Sl*ves, an abolitionist organization, without permission from the government. (I might need permission from the banks, though, but maybe in the future they’ll accept crypto payments.) If I think a local stream needs to be kept clean, I can probably walk around picking up trash without anyone’s permission, unless there’s like a security guard running around chasing people away from the stream. I guess, what the governments do is relevant in so far as deciding, “should we resist, cooperate, or just try to stay out of the way (if that’s even possible)?” but I don’t imagine we have much control over what the governments decide to do, especially, like, the big national and state governments.

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